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Melvin Francis Artmann

Long-time Lester Prairie resident, Melvin Francis Artmann, age 75, died Wednesday, April 9, 2008, following a short battle with cancer.

Mass of Christian Burial will be today, April 14 at 11 a.m. at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Winsted, with visitation for two and one-half hours preceding the Mass. Father William Sprigler is the celebrant.

Organist is Alice Nowak. Congregational hymns will be “Here I Am, Lord,” “Just As I Am,” “Hail Mary, Gentle Woman,” “On Eagle’s Wings,” and “Just A Closer Walk With Thee. Gloria Oltmann is the lector, and offertory gifts will be presented by Leona Donnay and Marie Kaczmarek. Interment is in the Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery.

Pallbearers are Mel’s nephews, Jonathan and Andrew Mattson, Paul Kaczmarek, Tom Donnay, Gordon Birkholz Jr., Douglas Birkholz, Kevin Artmann, Keith Artmann, Scott Schesso, and Bret Schesso. Honorary pallbearers are nieces Marlys Pinske, Gloria Oltmann, Michelle Kaczmarek, Jodee Wendorf, Heidi Kieser, Holly Richie, and Christina Mattson.

Melvin was born Jan. 29, 1933, in rural Winsted Township, the son of Louis and Anna (Neumann) Artmann. Mel was baptised at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Winsted, by Father Wm. Wey. He received his First Holy Communion, and later was confirmed in his faith by Archbishop Gregory Murray.

Melvin received his education at Holy Trinity School through the eighth grade, and went on to attend high school in Lester Prairie. He spent his boyhood days working with his mother on the family farm, as his father died in 1946.

Mel served his country in the US Army from 1953-1955. His overseas tour was spent in Okinawa, Japan as a heavy duty equipment operator.

He was a member of the American Legion Post of Lester Prairie, who will honor Melvin with their attendance at the funeral service.

Mel was united in marriage with Darlene Mattson Sept. 5, 1959, at the Holy Trinity parsonage by Father Frederick Plaschko. They were blessed with 48 years of marriage.

Mel was employed by Quentin Radtke Excavating of Lester Prairie for 42 years. Later, he was employed at Plato Woodwork as a custodian.

As an active church member, Mel was a third degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He also served as a church usher, and a volunteer at St. Mary’s Care Center.

He enjoyed playing cards, listening to old time music on the radio, and making daily stops at The Depot to have coffee and share time with his buddies.

Mel is survived by his loving wife, Darlene; sisters Leona Donnay and Marie Kaczmarek (husband Gerald); sister-in-law Louise Artmann; and brothers and sisters-in-law Gordon and Doreen Birkholz Sr., Gregg and Beth Mattson, and Karen Schesso.

He is further survived by nieces and nephews Marlys Pinske (husband Tim), Gloria Oltmann, Tom Donnay (wife Jolene), Kevin Artmann, Keith Artmann (wife Heidi), Michelle Kaczmarek, Jodee Wendorf (special friend Dan Felfen), Paul Kaczmarek (wife Sheila), Gordon Birkholz (wife Marla), Douglas Birkholz (wife Patty), Heidi Kieser (husband Carey), Bret and Scott Schesso; and many cousins.

Mel was preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Anna Artmann; brother Gilbert Artmann; brother-in-law Cyril Donnay; nephews Kurt Artmann, baby boy Kaczmarek, and Bruce Donnay; as well as his father- and mother-in-law, Andrew and Martha Mattson.

The Chilson Funeral Home in Winsted is serving the family.